Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hairy Stories

The title sounds scary but really I just wanted to talk about Miss Gwen's hair! Her hair was getting kind of greasy and we wanted to give her a bath. But this morning I had an appointment to get my staples out. Then Gwen had a color check appointment. So not much time to give baths especially since she kept us up all night long and we were tired! Newborns!

I have always had my staples taken out the day I leave the hospital and have never had to do it at the doctor's office. Can I just say that was the most painful experience I have ever had! In the past I could feel the staples being pulled out and only a few would sting and pinch as they were getting pulled. This time it felt like each and every staple sent electrically charged zings through my body as they pinched in the worst kind of way! I could still feel the pinching sensation for about 45 minutes afterwards. But my stomach does feel better. No more staples irritating my skin.

I have never had to take a baby in for a color check either. But that is standard practice here - the babies see the pediatrician's nurse 2 days after being released from the hospital. Gwen did a great job and the nurse said she looked good. Gwen had cute little clips in her hair because they were cute and also to hide her otherwise yucky looking hair. Several people commented on the cute clips and commented on how much hair she has. She does have a lot.

Later she was being a fussy eater again so I thought maybe a sponge bath would make her mad enough to eat. It worked. She smells so baby good now. What was amazing was how curly her hair was. At first I thought nothing of it since the boys had curly hair as babies but only when it was wet. Then I brushed Gwen's hair thinking it would not be curly anymore. It was still super curly and looked so cute. I put a little bow in the middle of her head but it fell out later so now her hair is still curly on top but standing up where the ponytail bow was. She's so cute I can't even stand it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Gwen and I came home yesterday! I think if the medical staff could've had their way we would've stayed until today but they decided we were doing well enough to go home yesterday. I have never stayed at the hospital for the full 4 days insurance will pay for after a c-section. I have always left on the third day and since I was feeling so great sitting in the hospital felt like a prison sentence. So glad to be home.

Gwen is doing very well. She is nursing better and better every day. I wasn't sure it would even work out at all since she spent so much time hooked up to an IV of glucose water and she was being bottle fed. But she has figured it out and I am painfully engorged yet thrilled at the miracle of being able to provide her nutrition in this way.

My mom has been a great blessing to our family in these last few days. She has played with the boys until they are utterly exhausted every night. She has made dinner every night and cleaned up the house. She is on her way home now and we will miss her. I am grateful Heath will still be here to help me for a while.

Our first night at home with Gwen was not as hard as I thought it would be. Michelle was a lifesaver for giving me the swaddling blanket that didn't work out for her baby. Gwen didn't sleep as soundly as we would have liked her to but from past experience with newborns, things could have been worse. Heath changed a lot of diapers in the night while I was on call for nursing every 20-30 minutes at one point. But we never needed to change her clothes, blankets, or sheets (we did all that at least 5 times with both boys the first 2 nights). Heath held her in his arms in our bed to make sure she was really asleep before putting her in her bassinet. All 3 of us fell asleep and forgot Gwen was supposed to be in her own bed! It worked out better that way. I had done the same thing with her the last night we were in the hospital. I told her it wouldn't happen again. Well, we won't make a habit of it I hope!

Even though I feel tired and I'm trying to take it easy until I fully recover, I am happy the sun is shining, I'm home, and the world seems brighter because Gwen is a part of our family.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A family finally united

The boys finally were able to meet their sister. Gwen has been removed from her IV and is now free to leave the nursery.
Both boys were excited but Parker seemed to be the most excited running straight to her as he entered the room and staying close by most of the time he was there.


And this is prove that she does have eyes, and is as cute as can be.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More about Gwen



Gwen is doing well. She is expected to be off of the IV this evening.
Tristan is doing very well. She is feeling very little pain with out taking much pain medication at all. She has been walking and moving around quite a bit.

Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

And the name is...

Tristan has finally been able to hold "Baby Girl" Westover and as a result she has made the final decision on her name. So I now present to you Gwenyth Louise Westover.

Her blood sugars seem to have stabilized and seems to be happy and healthy. Her brothers were able to see her from the nursery window. They were excited to see thier new sister and mom too.

As you can see by the video she had a healthy set of lungs to start with and was more the happy in mom's warm belly.

Our New Arrival

I am pleased to announce the arrival of "Baby Girl" Westover. She arrived at 8:03 and weighs in at 9lbs 4 oz. and measures 21.5 inches long. Mom is recovering nicely, and baby is being watch closely in the NICU while her blood sugars stabalize.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Heath

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Last Day!

This is my last day being pregnant. I have no regrets. In fact, I can't wait to never be pregnant again! I'm ready for the next phase of insanity - the oh my gosh, I have a baby to worry about and carry around phase! We're ready. Bring it on. Enjoy the pictures of my belly because it will never look like this again. The last picture is some of the roses Heath gave me for our anniversary.

Proud parents
Gavin and Parker can't wait for their baby sister to be born
very pretty roses that symobolize a deep love

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Goals Accomplished

I can't help but point out what a great day today is. One of my friends has successfully followed her nutrition goals for herself for 3 days. What an accomplishment. She is on her way to being a healthier person. Another friend of mine recently went to the temple for the first time to receive her endowments. Today on her 13th wedding anniversary her family has been sealed together in the temple for eternity. What a blessing for her and her family to know that no matter what happens they will be together forever. I finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning.

What stood out most for me with this reading was a lot of the same insights I had when I read the Book of Mormon to Gavin. That is that the stories are incredible but what's more incredible is they happened to real people. I have a tendency to get personally involved in stories whether it's in a book, movie, or TV show. What impresses me about the Book of Mormon is realizing the human element of it all. True stories that happened to real people. Real miracles from our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ all for real people who wrote it down for mankind's benefit today.

For me, the Book of Mormon shows how much our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love each one of us. The Book of Mormon proves to me that there is a God and he cares. People's lives changed dramatically for the better when they accepted the gospel in the Book of Mormon and I know I am so blessed for my understanding of the gospel. I truly am grateful for the many sacrifices that went into the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the difference reading it has made in my life and I am grateful for the daily miracles I am more aware of when I am reading it. I look forward to reading it again soon to my baby girl.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nature vs. Nurture

It's a classic debate. What influences people more, innate abilities or how they are treated? Most of the time the answer is unclear.

Today I took Gavin to get his shots in preparation for Kindergarten. I told him I was taking him to the doctor and that a nurse would poke him with a needle to give him special medicine. I also told him it might hurt but I wanted him to be a brave boy. He was excited about all of it! I put Parker in the stroller so he wouldn't get into everything. That was a good plan!

Gavin is a trooper. The nurse had me sitting on the table with Gavin attempting to sit in front of me between my legs. If I wasn't so pregnant it may have worked better. I was supposed to cross his arms in front of him and hold him in a tight hug. The nurse put his ankles between her legs and proceeded to quickly give him 4 shots in his thighs. Gavin tensed up and winced a couple of times. He may have cried a little but quickly changed to laughing when the nurse rubbed his legs to avoid bumps in the site.

When she was done with the "hard part" it was time for the "easy part." She did a TB test in his arm and pricked his finger for a hemoglobin test. For the pricking of his finger part I said to Gavin, "She's going to poke your finger the same way Mom pokes her finger." Gavin has seen me test my blood sugar so he was fine with that. The nurse was impressed that I have successfully gone through 3 pregnancies while dealing with Type 1 diabetes.

Both boys were very excited to each get a sucker and two stickers. They were good boys. I don't know what I have done to teach my kids how to behave in public but they are good kids. They deserved the treats the nurse gave them.

So back to my original question of nature vs. nurture. While I was growing up we never made a big deal out of getting hurt. I remember one time my parents were out doing something and my brother was in charge. I think my sister was standing on a chair and slipped causing great pain and bleeding in her mouth. We had her calmed down and no longer crying in a matter of a couple minutes. She, of course, started up again when my parents came back and saw how serious it was.

As a kid, I remember hearing and saying over and over, "You're ok. Shake it off." We knew it was a big deal if my mom started swearing and yelled at us to stop bleeding! Her way of coping with a situation she felt was beyond her expertise.

Anyway, I have raised my kids to get over pain quickly. It hasn't been that hard though because they seem hardwired to not care too much. They are still young enough that a hug or kiss from Mom solves just about anything. Gavin fell asleep instead of crying while getting 7 stitches in his forehead a few days before his 3rd birthday. Parker's head apparently is made of steel. He has run into the wall so many times and it barely seems to phase him. If they trip and fall in public they will cry if other mothers make a big deal out of it and ask if they are ok. If I'm the only one there I say, "Get up and try again." And they do. They usually laugh and say they fell down.

So I don't know. Maybe in this case it's a combination of nature vs. nurture. Maybe we'll never really know.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's in a Name?

A rose by any other name would . . .
Be something else.
If Edward is Ed and Frederick is Fred
Why do they call William Bill?
And how they get Hal out of Harold
Is something that puzzles me still.
To call Alexandra, Sandy or Harriet, Hatty, is folly
And who was the jerk who renamed Derek, Dirk?
We may as well call Mary, Molly.
Sometimes we give people's names unto "things"
Which is something I've pondered upon . . .
Why in the world would a plumber named Crapper call his invention a John?
- By Johnny Hart -

The big question on everyone's mind seems to be what are we naming this little girl? The answer is we don't know yet. Our philosophy has always been that we create a list of names and after the baby is born we choose the name that fits best. Gavin got his name because we had the middle name Earl with Gavin. Earl is Heath's middle name and his dad's middle name. When Gavin was born Heath said to me, "His chin looks just like my dad. His name is Gavin Earl." Gavin Earl was my number one choice of the list of names so I had no problem with it. I can't imagine Gavin's name being anything else. He is a Gavin. We do feel bad that we had forgotten my brother's baby was named Calvin just 8 months earlier. Even though their names are similar they suit each boy perfectly. And of the two Calvin is the only one who could successfully pull off the nickname Vinny.

When Parker was born he didn't have a name for about 24 hours. We had a list of several names but my favorites were Riley Eugene and Parker Taggert (yes Dawn, I realize I spelled Taggart wrong! Oops.). When he came out Heath wanted me to make the final decision because he felt like he had named Gavin. I couldn't decide. In hindsight I realize it was because I wanted Riley but Parker was not a Riley. Finally Heath said something about Riley being used too much as a girl name so Parker it was. I just think it's funny that before Parker was born I used to imagine he would be a football player and everyone would call him Tag. He certainly has the body and personality to be a football player so it may come true.

Now for our girl names. Our list is (in order of my favorites) Gwenyth Louise, Portia Rae, Whitney Willow, and Paige Elise. We'll just have to wait until Friday to see who she is. By the way, everyone should make sure to check my blog on Friday because Heath will post pictures of her.

We have been nesting more today. My feet are so swollen I'm afraid to take my shoes off for fear they may not go back on! We have been cleaning toys, the swing, the baby tub, and the car seat. Now we're off to buy new nursing bras. Fun stuff huh!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Logic of Children

I had to share before I forget. Last night we bought a lot of stuff for our baby. You would think this was our first and not our third baby with all we got! But I got the hair stuff I wanted. I got headbands, tiny claw clips, and tiny metal barretts. Parker was fascinated with all of it. He kept looking at the packages and pointing out colors and stuff like that. But then he tried to take one of the barretts off the cardboard. I told him not to do that because all of it was for his baby sister. So he took the packages and put them under my shirt with a very self satisfied look on his face! Heath and I had to laugh at the cute logic. Parker knows the baby is in my tummy so he thought he was giving her the stuff we bought for her.

Gavin said that he thought his baby sister would love everything we got for her and that she would say thank you.

Today Heath and Gavin had this priceless conversation.
Gavin: What are you doing, Daddy?
Dad: I'm making cookies for my home teaching families.
Gavin: Oh.
Dad: But don't worry. There will be enough for all of us to have some later.
Later Gavin asked again: What are you doing, Daddy?
Dad: I'm making cookies.
Gavin: Are you making them for both of us?
Dad: Yes, I'm only making cookies for you and me. Mom and Parker can't have any!
Heath and I laughed so hard.

I can't believe I get to have another child. I love the pre-operational stage and we get to start a new one with a new child soon.

I know I keep saying it but Gavin and Parker are so excited about their baby sister. Gavin knows that he needs to sit in the very back of the van after she is born. He also knows that he needs to learn how to buckle his own seatbelt. Well, yesterday Parker threw a fit when I buckled his seatbelt for him. He kept insisting that he wanted to do it. Later I let him try thinking he couldn't do it. I pulled out the strap far enough and he clicked it in on his own. I apologized to him for doubting his ablilities. Heath was impressed that Parker could do it. Gavin suddenly got motivated to try. It took him a minute but he did manage to click the seatbelt himself. He was so proud of himself. He got the biggest smile and looked at the girl getting into the car next to us and said, "I can sit in the back now!!!" I don't know if she heard him but she was smiling at his obvious triumph. Gavin doesn't know that he would have sat in the back anyway but at least now it will be easier to have him back there.

We heard a wonderful talk in Sacrament Meeting today about remembering. It was centered around President Eyring's talk in the October 2007 General Conference on remembering the blessings the Lord gives us every day. I think I do a pretty good job of remembering and writing it down. I had to share these sweet stories of my kids' logic and the simple triumphs they achieve each day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

One more week

I can't believe in one week from right now I will probably be nursing my baby girl while eating my lunch in the hospital! Heath had a dream that she wasn't finished being put together yet so we had to stay at a hotel! I had a dream that she punched through my stomach and bit my finger until she almost broke the skin!!! Totally ridiculous but it really freaked me out at the time. Lori says she has a hard time remembering I will have a baby. She knows I'm having a girl. She just can't keep it in her mind that I'm having a baby. I feel the same way. Yesterday the doctor predicted my baby will weigh at least 9 pounds if not closer to 9 1/2 or more. What am I supposed to do with a baby that 's not even wrinkly and actually fits in her clothes right away? So weird. I think even though she will be "big" I will be surprised at how little and light she actually is.

I'm looking forward to the end of back pain, swollen ankles (my pants frequently feel tight on my calves because I'm getting so swollen), and pumping my body full of insulin for the smallest amount of food. I'm looking forward to pink, dolls, hair accessories, and Gavin and Parker being so in love with their sister. Gavin has started praying for her. He prayed for the dinosaurs for several days in a row but now he's moved onto his baby sister. She has been a challenge and a miraculous blessing that has already blessed and changed our family forever. She brings me joy, drives me crazy, and makes me worry just like her brothers do and she's not even here yet! Can you tell I'm just a little excited to meet her? One more week.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Taste of Summer

Last night for dinner Heath made his famous homemade burgers. We had some on Saturday that were so good I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I really think what did it for me was the sharp cheddar cheese he put on. It brought out all the tangy flavors in the most beautiful way. We had fake American cheese last night. Good but not as great. We also had deviled eggs with our burgers. That's what made it feel like summer.

The weather has been fantastic lately. I send the boys outside every afternoon so they can run off their impressive amounts of energy and I can get a bit of a break. I leave the sliding glass door open and the breeze feels nice. Soon I will have to at least keep the screen closed so no bugs come in. Yesterday was a little hard on the boys since they only had one truck between the two of them and Gavin's bike needs one of the training wheels tightened. The bike falls down a lot as a result. So there wasn't enough toys for them. They can share they just don't like to and as of a couple days ago they didn't have to. But they survived and found other things to do.

Yesterday I was sad thinking that I have the cutest jacket for my baby to wear but the weather is getting too nice so she may not be able to. This weekend we should be up to the 70's. But maybe things will work out. Today that taste of summer felt like a teaser taste since it's so windy and there is still quite a bite in the air. Current temp is 54 degrees. Plus, my poor Mr. Parker has a cold now. He woke up and coughed a lot this morning. I thought maybe he just had a dry throat and in a few days he would be ok. Well, I got back from my appointments this morning and my poor little guy was half asleep on the couch under a blanket. So not like him! He told me he wanted to nap instead of eat lunch. I don't know if he is asleep yet since he's mesmerized by the shows on Nick Jr. (I decided that I'm tired and pregnant and it won't kill my kids if they watch TV till their brains fall out today! I'll be a better mother later.)

Enjoy whatever weather God has blessed you with wherever you live. And Happy Valentine's Day if you care about this holiday. I have to throw in my 2 cents here! I've already blogged about how I hate all holidays except Christmas so my comments should come as no surprise to anyone. But what is the point of Valentine's Day??? It's one of those ridiculous holidays that nobody even gets the day off for. It's a nightmare for any teacher with a Jehovah's Witness as a student and any teacher who is interested in not wasting a day on frivolous holiday traditions that interrupt normal curriculum. Besides that it's not even really a children's holiday. According to the media Valentine's Day is just a day where the entire nation remembers to buy gifts, candy and flowers for their significant other. Do we really need a holiday to remember to say I love you to the one we care most about??? Heath and I don't celebrate V Day because it's 4 days after our anniversary but even if we got married in November like we had originally planned we wouldn't celebrate V Day because it's lame. Wow. Sorry. I didn't mean to get that opinionated about it. If you do like holidays then enjoy them. I just choose not to care!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Contradictions

Yesterday I finished my Parenting magazine. One article made me breathe a sigh of motherly relief. They were saying that as a society we bathe our children too much and we try too hard to protect them from germs. I agree that too many people are germaphobes. But the whole bath thing made me feel much better. I used to be so good at giving Gavin a bath. Even after Parker was born I was great at giving two different baths. Then they started bathing together when Parker was old enough for the big tub. Somehow that made it hard for me to remember to bathe them as often as I meant to. I know that doesn't make sense but that's what happened and is still happening. So the article made me feel better as a mother.

Enter contradiction. A few pages later I saw another article that talked about how often you should wash your child's hair. Babies can get away with once or twice a week, toddlers should have their hair washed about 3 times a week, and older children should have their hair washed every other day. Hmmm . . . suddenly I wasn't feeling as on top of things as a mother.

There was another article that talked about what's ok and not ok germ wise. Like it's ok to give a baby a pacifier that has fallen on the floor. It is not ok to put it in your mouth first since that introduces worse germs than what they would have gotten from the floor. It's ok to just clean your hands with a wipe after a dirty diaper change. It's ok to not use a wipe for a wet diaper. (Good because I never do!) They also said that your children should always wash their hands before eating even if they haven't played outside. I fall short here. Even when my kids play outside I have a hard time remembering. But I'm not too worried. They rarely get sick and their filthy hands haven't killed them yet! My dad used to drink from the creek when he was a kid and he never had diarrhea or any other illness from it. I think our bodies need to be around some germs and bacteria to make us stronger. Don't be crazy about introducing germs but I don't think dust and dander are as big a deal as most people make it out to be. (I hope nobody wants to egg my house after reading my opinions!!!)

Here's a cute video about wipes vs. good old soap and water. http://video.mediapost.com/index.cfm?clientfile=Kimberly_Clark_Huggies_Little_Ducky.mpeg

The last contradiction I want to share has nothing to do with kids. This morning on the news they said that if you got a parking ticket yesterday you could have the $17 fine forgiven because yesterday was Lincoln's birthday which meant it was a state holiday so people shouldn't have been given a parking ticket. I was totally thinking that these parking tickets were associated with parking meters or something like that. Then the news guy warned people that next year parking violations would get parking tickets and they wouldn't reverse them just because of a holiday. Is anyone else as confused as I am??? If these people got a parking ticket for a legitimate parking violation then they deserve the ticket. I don't care if it was Christmas they still were in the wrong!!! Oh the contradictions of life. Don't send me hate mail for my opinions!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is it wrong to mourn the loss of a toy?

I will be the first to admit that I am a packrat. I save just about everything thinking it can be used in the future or too many memories are attached or whatever. I saved a lot of my childhood toys. Some toys were given to my niece a long time ago and I have made my peace with that. I did get rid of all my Barbies right before we moved from Utah. I think I was convinced I would never have the girl I was saving all these toys for and even if I did she was worth new Barbie dolls.

I also saved the cars Candi and my Barbies used to drive. Two corvettes and a jeep. I don't know what happened to the other jeep. It's been MIA for at least 10 years. My boys have always played with the cars and jeep. They love them.


Cue the sad music. Today the jeep died. I feel like a piece of me has died too. Gavin told me something was wrong with his truck and when I saw the back wheel axel was broken beyond repair I wisely said, "It's broken. You can't play with it anymore. I guess toys only last for 20 years!" I'm crying inside but Gavin will never know that. I feel like such a sentimental fool but I took good care of my toys growing up and as a child I decided to save them for my future children. That may be weird but it's true. Eventually I will get over it.

How I Spend My Time

Lori has tagged me about my daily routine. I feel the same way she did about the whole routine thing - slightly embarrassed to admit what I do every day! But honestly, this is our routine mostly because it works for us and our personalities so I shouldn't feel like apologizing for who I am.

6:10 am the alarm goes off and I tell Heath I hit snooze. Most days he snoozes but some days he needs to get up right away. I just turn off the alarm on those days.

6:20 am the alarm goes off again and I tell Heath it's time to get up and I aplogize to him because I hate getting up that early! I turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

Around 6:40 am Heath comes out of the bathroom all showered and dressed. I get up so I can see him for a few minutes before he goes to work. We both go downstairs as quietly as our creaky stairs will let us. In 2-5 minutes we hear the excited patter of Parker's feet as he joins us. Gavin is usually not far behind. Heath and I have breakfast while watching the news.

About 7 am ish Heath brushes his teeth and leaves for work. I make breakfast for the boys and switch the channel to PBS Kids (their favorite channel right now) and restart the recording of Word World (their favorite show). Lori once pointed out that she doesn't like Caillou because he is so whiny. After she said that I realized she was right and I noticed Gavin was whiny like Caillou so I try to keep the news on until at least 7:20 ish so Word World plays while Caillou is on!

7:30 am I check e-mail and obsessively check my blog comments and see if anyone else has updated their blogs. Depending on whether or not there is anything new to read this could take close to 30 minutes. Otherwise I read in the Book of Mormon. I try to read at least 10 pages but some days I read 15 or 20. I realized this morning that I need to push myself to finish this week because next week is too crazy and I can't guarantee I'll make time each day. (50 more pages to go!) If I have an appointment, which is most mornings lately, I get right in the shower and begin the 90-120 minute vanity process of getting ready for the day. That piece of info is embarrassing!!!

Somewhere around 9 to 10 am I am ready for the day. We eat a snack. Most days I need one too but if not I still give my kids fruit snacks because it makes them so happy and it's usually the only way I can get Gavin to dress himself. He can eat as soon as he is dressed. If I have an appointment I take my kids to someone's house to be babysat or someone comes over to watch them. If no appointment I take them to the playground or I clean my house. If it's a bad weather day we watch movies with popcorn. Some days I call my friends and talk for hours but not very often. Somehow we fill the time before lunch.

12 noon we eat lunch. I always make the boys lunch first so they will sit down and be quiet for a few minutes while I think about what I want and what I am willing to bolus for. Inevitably they beg for my food, poke at what I am making asking incessant questions about it, or they ask for more of something. I get a little frazzled and say things like, "Can I make my own lunch? Can I take care of myself now that you are taken care of?" I'm a terrible mother! Then I sit down and we have fun conversations while we eat.

Between 12:30 and 1:00 I get Parker ready for a nap. Once he's down I blog, check e-mail and check my friends' blogs. I do this until my back is screaming in pain and then I do what I have been planning to do all day - NOTHING! Heath told me that I'm good at it and we all should do what we are good at!!! I agree.

Depending on when Parker fell asleep and how tired he is he will sleep for 2-4 hours. Gavin plays computer games, plays with toys or games, sometimes I play games with him. He talks to me about what he is doing or what I am doing. When I'm done with the computer I watch TV (Gavin will watch some baby shows with me asking questions and learning all he can about having a baby!), or I nap while listening to music. Some days I get on the phone for different errands, appointments, and babysitting requests. On ambitious days I clean more. Sometimes I read my magazines but clearly not that often since I am so behind. It used to be that I would get a magazine and devour it all that day!

When Parker wakes up the boys play together. Since the weather is getting nicer I like to send them outside to play. At some point I will turn on the TV if it's not already and that's how we spend the rest of our time before Heath comes home.

Heath gets home anywhere between 6 and 7:30 pm. We have dinner together. The evenings are spent watching TV and playing with the boys or shopping together (I rarely run errands so we end up doing it together as a family).

Depending on when dinner was and when we get home if we've been out determines bedtime for the boys. Some days we start the bedtime routine at 8:00 sometimes it's actually closer to 9:00. They are responsible for cleaning up their toys and getting pajamas. Gavin can dress himself but Parker has to get his out. Heath brushes their teeth, we pray together, I read to them if my back doesn't hurt too much, and I sing to them. And Parker's new thing lately is to throw a fit for about 20 minutes after the door is shut and locked. (Locked because he would get out and include us in his power struggle if it wasn't.) Gavin sleeps through the whole thing!

Then Heath and I have time to ourselves to talk and decompress while watching TV or do whatever else we need to do.

I go to bed anywhere between 10 and 12. Heath goes to bed with me if he doesn't have work to do but most nights I fall asleep before he's done. I hate that he has to stay up so late but I'm flattered that most nights he waits for me to go to bed before he starts working. He does that because he wants to maximize his time with me.

I think that's a fairly accurate depiction of how I spend my time. We do a whole lot of nothing and a whole lot of TV watching it looks like! But we're happy and that's all that matters. Everything will change dramatically in 10 days when this baby is born. And then we'll have a new schedule.

Monday, February 11, 2008

7 Year Itch!

Yesterday was our 7th anniversary. It feels like we have known each other forever and we have always been married. I can't imagine my life with anyone else and I can't imagine doing anything else than what I am doing. It's been 7 wonderful years with ups and downs, fun times, rough times and always blessings galore.

This is the first year that we haven't tried to do anything special for our anniversary. It seems so sad like maybe after 7 years we're bored of anniversaries or something. Really what happened was pregnancy! Granted this is the 3rd anniversary I have been pregnant but I'm days away from delivering. The other 2 times we didn't even know we were having boys yet!

Heath and I meant to get a babysitter and go out but with all the busyness of life right now we both completely forgot! Oh well. What are you going to do? Last Wednesday night Heath went to the grocery store on his way home from work to buy a couple of things we needed for dinner. When he walked in the door he handed me a huge bouquet of roses and said, "Happy Anniversary!" It took my breath away because I was so surprised. Heath loves to surprise me.

The roses are so gorgeous. They are the deepest red I have ever seen, almost blood red. Each flower is so large. They are starting to open from being buds but even the buds are the biggest I have ever seen. He bought me a dozen but one of the buds somehow was cut from the stem. The bud was just sitting there not attached to anything. I figured we would have to throw it away soon. But then I thought of putting it in a bowl of water just to see how long it would last that way. It's thriving and surviving almost better than the rest of the roses.

Heath took pictures last night but they aren't on the computer yet. So the picture here is from early in our marriage - pre kids.

For dinner last night we had chicken alfredo. I don't know what kind of noodles they were. They were big tube like noodles. So yummy. So I got my special dinner that I got to choose, fabulous roses, my sweet husband, my cute boys, and my baby girl on the way. What more can you ask for on an anniversary?

I don't think either of us is itching to leave. There is too much wonderfulness going on. I don't believe we will ever get bored of our lives together. This is a love that will last through time. How comforting to know our family will be together for eternity. Happy Anniversary Heath. I love you.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Nesting Big time!

Here are a few pictures from my baby shower last night. This first picture is, in my opinion, the most indulgent gift I received! It's a baby bathrobe and washcloths. Every time I see cute little bathrobes in the store I want to get them but I resist because it seems like a luxury item no baby really needs. I am so excited my baby has one. And it's adorable too.
I got so many sweet dresses like this. Heath said our baby may never wear the same dress to church twice. He may be right! With all the clothes given I think this baby is set for the first year of life. I even have a jump start on what she may need after her first birthday.
This gift was really neat. It was from a large group of women in the ward. Included were 2 gift cards to Target for a large amount of money. I'm thinking hair ties, headbands, diaper genie refills, nursing pads, etc. etc. etc. The doll in the picture is very popular already. Heath thinks it is the cutest doll he has ever seen. I agree. We love how she has dark hair and dark eyes like me. Maybe this baby will finally look like me! Parker was loving the doll to death this morning.

One of the most creative gifts I received was handmade thank you cards, envelopes, and stamps. What a great idea!

These are only a few of the pictures and gifts from last night. I feel so spoiled that anyone would give me a shower for my third child. The gifts given were incredible. It felt like Christmas with how generous people were. What a wonderful evening and what wonderful friends I have that have blessed me and my family so much!

So now I am nesting big time. I never really got into the whole nesting thing with my boys. But now I am washing clothes, organizing everything by size, and basically getting everything ready for when this baby girl enters the world. Gavin and Parker have enjoyed helping me too. Two more weeks until our lives change again forever.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What's your definition of exercise?

A long time ago when I was still a kid I heard a stand up comedian define exercise as anything that gets your heart rate up for a period of time. He said that he would stand against a building and have his friend drive a car straight at him but stop short of hitting him! It got his heart rate up for an extended period of time therefore he must have gotten his exercise for the day right?

If that's true I got my exercise today. Heath is working from home today and I was talking to him about my appointment with my obstetrician when I got home. All the sudden we heard a loud crash. At first I wasn't going to respond because my kids are very noisy and it's never worth worrying about. But I decided to go check it out. As I was walking to the boys' room Parker started crying. When I got there I saw the boys' new dresser (we just finished putting it together last night) tipped over pinning Parker underneath.

I said some sort of exclamation which got Heath to change from walking to running to see what happened. We both sort of panicked. He told me to get Parker out while he tried to lift up the dresser. I was afraid of moving him because I didn't know if he was hurt or not but I grabbed his arm and dragged him out. Then I picked him up and held him close while trying to calm his fear.

Parker was not hurt at all. Just a bruise on one side of his forehead was all. He was obviously more scared than anything. Our guess is he was trying to climb on an open drawer. He had tried that last night but Heath stopped him. We lectured him on how he could never climb on the drawers. I think he learned his lesson!

The amazing thing was how far the base of the dresser was from its original place against the wall. It almost flipped over completely. The drawers fell out which is probably how Parker escaped disaster. He was pinned under the frame of the dresser, most of his body in the cavity of where a drawer would be. Little monkey! He has no fear and that's the problem. I never worry about Gavin at the playground. Gavin is so overly cautious I know he won't get hurt. Parker is another story.

My heart was racing for at least 30 minutes after Parker's ordeal this morning. After all the worrying about this unborn baby I did last night I asked Heath why we had kids again! I said that all 3 of them were killing me slowly in one way or another! We'll secure the dresser to the wall (a good idea living in earthquake land too) and I will rest easier knowing my kids are a little safer from themselves. But hey, at least I got my exercise for the day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

You know you're a redneck . . .

if you hem your pants by walking off the excess! Ok, so I'm not going to tell a bunch of Jeff Foxworthy redneck jokes. I just thought of that when I put the boys' clothes in the washing machine today. Gavin's pants are the saddest pieces of fabric I have ever seen. I bought them too big because, silly me, I thought they would last longer than a couple of months and he would grow into them. But no, Carter's has failed me big time!

I bought both boys 2 pair of jeans from Carter's in September and both boys a pair of cargo pants from Osh Kosh the same day. Gavin's jeans started getting holes in the knees around November. The holes are huge and gaping now. Maybe a month ago Parker's jeans started getting holes. Gavin's pants never stay rolled up so the backs of the hem are getting dirty and threadbare. Both boys' cargo pants are starting to show signs of wear too. It looks like nobody takes care of my ragamuffin kids and I just waddle around all big and pregnant looking like I won't be able to take care of this one either!

If you want my opinion, Carter's has the cutest and best clothes for babies. Sears has good quality clothes for kids that are cute too. And bonus, they have a program where they will replace clothing or refund your money for any item that wears out before the kid grows out of it. We have never had a problem with any of the clothes we bought from Sears. I am not ashamed to admit that most of our boys' clothes are hand me downs from my nephew (8 months older than Gavin) and a few other friends. The only pair of jeans to deteriorate like this were a pair of Old Navy jeans that already had the beginnings of worn out knees when they were given to us. They are now cut off shorts.

I just don't see the point in replacing my kids' pants when warmer weather is not too far off. We'll see though because it is embarrassing to see them running around looking like sad little street urchins.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Sweetest Boy Ever!

My last post was totally lame, I know. The only reason I am posting again is because if I don't say it now I will forget and it's worth remembering.

I had started A Baby Story from TLC that I had recorded today. Just a few minutes into the show Gavin said, "I want you to go." He didn't say it maliciously so I didn't know what he meant. The he said, "I want you to go to the hospital and have my baby sister." I tried to explain to him that we need to wait. She is coming soon. I told him we have to go to church at least one more time. If she comes before we go to church one more time then she has to stay at the hospital for a long time because she will be too young to come home. (How do you explain preemies to a 4 year old?)

Funny side note - On Sunday Gavin asked when his baby sister would be born and I told him we had to go to church 2 more times before she would come. He was adamant that he had already gone to Primary 2 more times and that she should come because of that. I thought of that yesterday as the possibility loomed in front of me that I could deliver sooner than expected.

Anyway, back to today. About an hour after Gavin told me to go to the hospital he came over to me and asked where his baby sister's chair was. I asked, "At the table?" He said yes. I reminded him that when babies are first born they are too little to eat at the table. They drink lots of milk before they are big enough to eat food. Gavin asked if we needed lots of bottles. I just said yes. Then I told him that when she was big enough she would sit in the high chair. He said, "Is it in the garage?" I told him yes. He said, "We will get it out of the garage for my baby sister?" I said yes.

Gavin's questions about his baby sister coming are more frequent. He cannot wait for her to come. I can't wait to see how he reacts when he first sees her at the hospital. He was so overwhelmed when he saw Parker in the hospital but as soon as Parker and I went home Gavin was head over heels in love with his baby brother. I'm looking forward to all the help I will get from my boys. No doubt about it, this baby will be loved.

Random Pictures and Thoughts

My babies are all clean. They are so funny in the tub. They love to take baths. Parker hated to take baths as a baby but now he loves them. This is Parker after his first haircut. I looked and looked but I can't find the picture of Gavin playing peek a boo with the shower curtain. Oh well. My back hurts now so I don't really care to find it anymore!

This picture just makes me laugh. I love how proud Parker is for standing next to his brother. I need to find all the cute pics of them playing together and then scrapbook it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What a Day!!!

I woke up this morning expecting to go to my non-stress test, come home and take the kids to the park, and sit on my butt the rest of the day! What happened was I woke up, told my babysitter (who was babyisitting for me for the first time) virtually nothing she would need to know, then went to my non-stress test.

Maybe I've gotten too cocky with how smoothly these non-stress tests have been going because I totally thought I would be home in an hour. I couldn't see the clock but I felt like I had been there for a long time. The room was full of other women also having NST's so I thought maybe the nurse forgot about me or something.

At one point I heard her talking to someone about a basal heart rate of 15o and decelerations as low as 130's and 120's. I just didn't realize she was talking about me and my baby! She came in and I expected her to say I was finished. No, she instead said that my baby was having heart decelerations but it had nothing to do with contractions. She explained that she was going to call my doctor who would decide whether I needed an AFI or an oxytocin test. The AFI is an ultrasound where they check the amniotic fluid levels and can see if the cord is wrapped around the baby in a dangerous way. The oxytocin test is where they hook someone up to an IV of pitocin (man made version of the hormone oxytocin) to induce contractions. Then they see how the baby reacts to the contractions. She also talked about me possibly delivering today.

Fear gripped me. I was shaking. I didn't know what was going on or why. I had enough peace of mind to call my sweet babysitter, Sister Newell, and explain to her I would be longer than I expected. Then I called Heath. As soon as he answered I melted into tears. I didn't explain much to either or them because I didn't understand what was happening.

Over time the nurse was able to take time to explain to me what was happening. I pride myself on how much I read about pregnancy and watching shows like Maternity Ward on the Discovery Health Channel (that's the show where there's a real chance that mom or baby could die). But I had never heard of heart decelerations happening but having nothing to do with contractions. Jennifer (the NST nurse) explained that if the cord was wrapped around the baby and causing the decelerations I would be delivered that day. She said that maybe the baby was in a weird position where she was laying on her cord causing the decelerations. She also explained that one of the risks for diabetics is low amniotic fluid. I asked how that was possible since I thought the concern was too much fluid as a result of high blood sugar. Jennifer said that diabetes tends to age the placenta prematurely. This I knew. That is why diabetics are delivered in their 38th or 39th week. She went on to explain that if the placenta is maturing too quickly then it doesn't work properly which causes less fluid to be produced by my body and the baby also produces less fluid. If fluid is too low then the baby needs to be delivered.

At one point Jennifer asked me when I last ate. I told her just as I arrived at the hospital at 9:45. She told me not to drink any more of the water she brought to me. That freaked me out because all I could think about was how I could possibly be sent to surgery to have my baby alone. Heath took BART to work and I knew that if the decision was made to deliver me today they would do it quicker than he could get from work to the hospital. I knew it wouldn't kill me. I've had so many surgeries in my life and nobody but a medical team was there with me. But I didn't want to have this baby surgically removed from me while half my body was numb yet I was awake and Heath wasn't there with me.

Around 1:00 pm I had the ultrasound. The fluid levels looked completely normal. The cord was not an issue either. I mentioned that my baby has 2 blood vessels in her cord and not the normal 3. The three women standing there staring at the ultrasound monitor simultaneously gave an aha sigh like maybe I had hit on the answer. Since the AFI test was normal they left. Jennifer called my doctor who said she would be up to look at the NST tracings and most likely send me home.

After the ultrasound ladies left I was hooked back up to the monitors lying on my left side. I was on my left side shortly before the ultrasound and the baby was doing fine. After being hooked up that way again the baby looked like how she normally looks for NST's. I had about 2 hours of crazy tracings while I was lying on my right side and about 40 minutes of normal tracings while on my left. Dr. Carlson confirmed that everything was fine and that I could go home. I don't think she meant to blame Jennifer but Dr. Carlson made it sound like the first tracing was difficult to determine a basal heart rate, which made it look like there were decelerations when most likely nothing was really going on. Since everything looked normal and the AFI showed all normalcy I went home.

The lesson I learned - expect the unexpected. Be prepared for anything. And for heaven's sake tell the babysitter more than she needs to know! Poor lady. Over the phone I had to describe where things were in my kitchen so she could feed my kids. I don't know that I would have ever given a tour of my kitchen to anyone but I never told her how to use the TV or put in movies or anything like that. She did empty my dishwasher and put away all the dishes. That makes me feel loved. I have done that for other people too. She also got Parker down for a nap! What a saint! It's been a very weird day today.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Out of the Loop

I feel like I have missed more than a day of Internet. It's probably because I had a whole bunch of e-mails this morning. I never get a whole bunch of e-mails! I hope that some of my friends are reading my blog because I haven't been good at keeping in touch through e-mail lately.

Anyway, yesterday I went in for my final ultrasound. I had one of my most physical panic attacks on the way there. I don't know why driving to that hospital fills me with such dread but it does. (Even when Heath has gone with me I feel anxious) I must have used the bathroom 100 times before I left at 9:30. The closer I got to my exit the faster my breathing got and my palms were actually sweaty. I do hate driving on the freeway but I think the biggest reason why I was in such a panic was because of how lost I got the last time I went to the hospital on my own. This time I managed to stay in the correct lane as the freeway split and had no problems getting to my appointment.

Not much to report. The baby looks good. She is estimated to weigh 7 lbs and 1 oz right now. The technician reminded me that the estimate could be off by a pound. At this point in pregnancy babies gain around 1/4 to 1/2 a pound a week. I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I am not quite 36 weeks yet and my baby is already bigger than my first two babies born in my 37th and 38th week. The doctors all try to reassure me that she's just tall and that I should blame Heath for that since he's 6'2". Maybe I'll relax about everything after she's born and I can see her.

This baby does not like her picture taken. We haven't gotten a really good picture of her yet. I did get one picture of her face that is interesting. The angle is looking straight up her nose and her lips look all puckered. It looks like a squishy face shot! I will have to scan and post that picture later.

Heath worked from home yesterday because Gavin had a fever on Wednesday. No other symptoms - just a low grade fever for most of the day that went away 3-4 hours before he went to bed. Well he woke up with it again yesterday so I canceled my babysitters and Heath worked from home. Without medication, Gavin's fever was gone by the evening and it hasn't come back. Who knows what that was all about! My kids haven't gotten fevers since they were about a year old and had the flu. They don't get fevers with the flu anymore. They just don't get fevers. So that was weird with Gavin.

Since we missed out on Park Day Wednesday when Gavin had an unusual fever, I took them to the park today. And not a moment too soon I guess. It was sunny and nice while we were out but now it's cloudy and dreary again and we're supposed to get more rain. I'm not complaining though. I love the rain. My kids are just sick of being cooped up in the house. The best part about rain is you don't have to shovel it!

I've had questions about my due date. I am due March 3 but will have a c-section February 22. If you click on the numbers on the baby widget on the side of my blog it accurately tells how much time I have left but because I changed my due date the time it shows for how far I've come is inaccurate. Just keep clicking to scroll through all the information. I hope that makes sense to everyone.